Jair Bolsonaro faces mounting public stress and a Senate inquiry into his dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic.
Far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a COVID-19 sceptic who has refused to enact public well being measures to stem the unfold of the coronavirus, has been fined for failing to stick to well being security rules at a public occasion in Maranhao state.
State Governor Flavio Dino mentioned late on Friday that well being authorities filed the case in opposition to Bolsonaro “for the promotion in Maranhao of gatherings with no sanitary safeguards”.
“The legislation applies to everybody,” Dino tweeted, reminding the general public that gatherings of greater than 100 persons are banned and that face masks are obligatory.
The president’s workplace has 15 days to attraction, after which the quantity of the wonderful will probably be set. The workplace didn’t reply requests for remark from the AFP information company.
Bolsonaro has remained defiant within the face of widespread criticism over his authorities’s dealing with of the COVID-19 pandemic, rejecting calls to impose a nationwide lockdown to attempt to stem the unfold of the virus.
On Friday, Bolsonaro handed out rural property titles in Acailandia, about 500km (310 miles) from Sao Luis, capital of Maranhao state. In the course of the occasion, the maskless president blasted Dino as a “chubby dictator” over the governor’s imposition of coronavirus restrictions.
Greater than 446,000 individuals have died because of the coronavirus in Brazil, in accordance with Johns Hopkins College knowledge – the second-highest complete on the planet after america.
Greater than 15.9 million instances even have been reported up to now, and public well being consultants have warned that one other wave could possibly be imminent.
The Brazilian Senate final month launched an investigation into how Bolsonaro and his authorities have responded to the disaster, heaping political stress on the previous military captain forward of deliberate elections subsequent yr.
On Friday, the senator main the inquiry alleged that Bolsonaro by no means needed to purchase COVID-19 vaccines, as an alternative betting that herd immunity may beat the virus.
In an interview with the Reuters information company, Senator Renan Calheiros mentioned, “The president first denied the illness, referred to as it a flu, after which argued in opposition to social isolation and lockdown. Then he performed down using masks and inspired crowds to assemble.”
“Why is that? Due to herd immunity, the pure immunity … you need to encourage crowds and the unfold of the virus,” Calheiros mentioned. “That is why he by no means needed a vaccine.”
Bolsonaro’s workplace didn’t reply to a request for remark from Reuters on the allegation.
Brazil approved two coronavirus jabs – China’s SinoVac and Britain’s AstraZeneca – for emergency use in January, however its vaccine rollout has been tormented by delays and a scarcity of provide.
As of Might 18, only one in eight Brazilian adults have been absolutely vaccinated, Reuters mentioned.
Public well being officers said earlier this week that they anticipated to obtain sufficient vaccine components from China to fabricate as many as 25 million doses.